If you’re like most people, you go to see a doctor when you’re not feeling well or have a health concern. However, you may also visit your doctor for a check-up, or to ask questions about healthy living. In fact, consulting your doctor for anything health-related is a smart idea.
The same holds true when it comes to real estate. Many people only call a REALTOR® when they’re planning on selling their property or buying a new home, or both. While that’s an important reason to speak to a REALTOR®, it’s not the only reason.
Indeed, there are many good reasons for you to give a good REALTOR® a call.
• If you have a question about the state of the local real estate market. (Remember that it may be very different from what you hear on the news about the national market.)
• If you want to get a sense of what homes are currently selling for in the area.
• If you want to determine the current market value of your property.
• If you want to find out how much homes cost in neighbourhoods you’d like to consider.
• If you’re thinking about the possibility of making a move, but you’re not sure if it’s the right time.
In other words, don’t be afraid to contact a good REALTOR® when you have a question or need some advice about the real estate market.
First time home buyers seminar. If you’re spending $1000 a month in rent, you’re giving away $60,000 a year to someone else. Why rent when you can buy? Pre-Approvals on site if requested.
By Colleen Francis- Globe and Mail Feb 20 2014
My clients have been complaining about the health of the global economy. While the United States is booming, Europe is struggling. Canada is edging up slightly and Asia is in flux.
Like international markets, some companies are exceeding their goals while others are crying poor and blaming external factors for their failures.
I see it every day: Having missed their targets, companies look for advice on how to sell in a confusing market. My first comment is this: “If your market has changed and you haven’t changed with it, you will soon be out of business. So tell me: what have you done to change your activities this year?”
The question is usually met with silence. Most companies give up when the markets slow down. They resign themselves to the fact it’s going to be a bad year and they don’t even try. Simply put, they refuse to change.
Some, on the other hand, refuse to wave the white flag. These top performers attack their markets with vigour, and they approach their prospects with new and increased sales activities. They are the few representatives who manage to thrive in the face of an inhospitable economic climate.
I recently met with one of these survivor types. Mike owns a manufacturing company selling to home builders, renovators and consumers. His sales are up 200 per cent this year as a result of “embracing the changes in my market and out-hustling my competition.”
So before you complain about the economy hurting your business, are you taking any of the following actions?
You can change your results in any economy. Just look at Mike. Believe in yourself.
Sales expert Colleen Francis is founder and president of Engage Selling Solutions. Ms. Francis ensures clients realize immediate results, achieve lasting success and permanently raise their bottom line.
I don’t know about you but before I earned my real estate license January 2010 (happy 4th anniversary to me), I had no idea how the real estate industry worked here in Nova Scotia. I wasn’t aware there was a legitimate place to complain about a negative real estate experience other than the kitchen table of my friends’ home over a glass of wine. And just what was this REALTOR® logo all about?
So here it is in a nutshell:
The Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission (NSREC) is an independent, non-government agency, responsible for regulating the real estate industry in Nova Scotia. It was established to ensure consumer confidence in the real estate industry by supervising professional activities of all real estate brokers and salespeople practicing in Nova Scotia.
So, have a legitamate complaint about a salesperson or had a unreasonable experience in a real estate transaction? Contact the NSREC.
What’s the difference between a real estate salesperson and a REALTOR®?
⇒A real estate salesperson took a comprehensive 4 week course and passed a challenging exam created by the NSREC to ensure professional standards and can practice anywhere in Nova Scotia.
⇒Licensed salespeople have the option of joining an association called the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® (NSAR). It strives to strengthen the image and professionalism of its members through continuing professional education and maintaining high professional standards. They own the right to use the brand logo, REALTOR® to indicate those in the industry that adhere to a higher standard. The Association’s mission is to enhance REALTORS®’ success by providing services and representation to enable them to best serve the public in real estate transactions. The Association also acts as the voice for real estate in Nova Scotia.
In other words, you’d go to a government agency (Access Nova Scotia) to write a test to obtain your driver’s license but you’d have the option of joining the Canadian Automobile Association for additional options and protection. Their brand logo is CAA.
So there you have it. Hope this helps.
Unless you’re a real estate expert, you probably look at the market and think things are pretty confusing. Even a bit crazy! You hear news about “bubbles bursting”, “higher or lower home sales in a particular month”, “new home starts” that are up or down, and on and on it goes.
It’s a lot of news and a lot of jargon. If you’re thinking of selling your home within the next year or two, you will want to understand what’s happening in the market so you can make the right decisions and get a clear sense of what to expect. So, how do you make sense of it all?
That’s where a good REALTOR® can help.
Even if you don’t have any definite plans to move in the near future, a REALTOR® who is an expert in the local marketplace can help you understand what homes in a particular neighbourhood are selling for, and what you can expect to get should you decide to list your property.
Getting to know a REALTOR® also means you’ll have a trusted expert to talk to from time to time, when you have real estate-related questions. You’ll have someone you can think of as “Your REALTOR®”.
Plus, when the time comes to sell your property, you won’t have to deal with a stranger. Instead, you’ll be able to work with a REALTOR® that you know well — and who knows YOU. Overall, that will make the buying and selling process go more smoothly and more successfully.
Looking for a good REALTOR® who wants to get to know you? Call today!
This Week’s Great Low Rates!
Variable: 2.55% - (prime less .45)
6 mos: 3.95%
1 Year: 2.89%
2 Year: 2.79%
3 Year: 2.89%
4 Year: 3.39%
5 Year: 3.45% - not for preapp. Cond. apply
7 Year: 3.99%
10 Year: 4.39%
all rates are based on approved credit and are subject to change without notice. All rates may not be available in all provinces
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a relaxing holiday season spent with family and friends. A new year is beginning in the Real Estate and mortgage industries and your guess is as good as mine on how it will shape up. Will this be the year interest rates start to rise significantly? Will we finally see the juggernaut Toronto real estate market slow down? Only time will tell, but for homebuyers one thing will not change and that is working with a knowledgeable Realtor and Mortgage Broker will continue to give you the advantage.
On a personal note, I have set some aggressive business goals for myself in 2014 and thank you for your continued support and referrals. I look forward to working with you all in the coming year!
5 Canadian Mortgage Predictions for 2014
Rob McLister at the Globe and Mail has written a great article outlining a few trends that we have been seeing in the industry and will most likely continue into 2014. Here is a brief summary of his predictions, but you can CLICK HERE to read about them in more detail.
Tightening of mortgage rules - it will become more difficult for some to get a mortgage in 2014
Credit Unions will steal market share - As federally regulated lenders like Banks become more regulated, Credit Unions will be more attractive to Canadians.
Stronger On-line players - More players will enter the on-line space offering mortgages. I would caution that these players might offer attractive rates, but will lack in service and education for the client.
The growth of hybrid mortgages - Clients may be willing to take a partial fixed and variable rate mortgage to hedge bets on rising rates.
Consumers IQ will increase - This trend has been increasing over the years as more Canadians turn to the internet to educate themselves before they begin their mortgage hunt.
10 Extreme Ways to Save For Your Home
For those looking to buy their first home saving for the down payment is usually the most difficult part. There are “no money down” options available, but using your own money is still the best way. CLICK HERE to read an interesting article on some common sense ways to save for your down payment.
I Can Help With:
- First Time Homebuyers
- Mortgage Renewals
- Real Estate Investors
- New to Canada
- Self Employed
- Poor Credit
- Vacation Property
- Debt Consolidation / Refinance
- Reverse Mortgage
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With 2013 winding down to a soft and subtle close, I want to take the time to reflect on this year in business. 2013 was my third full year in the real estate industry and, I am happy to announce, is my best on record! In getting to know some amazing people through the last 3.5 years, I have managed to grow my business and help both Buyers and Sellers realize their dreams and financial goals.
2013 started out much like any other year in the real estate business. January is almost always the quietest month. That being said, it ended up being surprisingly productive: I sold a long term client’s mini home in Sackville and put the finishing touches on the sale of another listing in West End Halifax. The rest of the year continued strongly and, in the end, I only have my clients to thank for that.
Whether through the meetings I had with private sellers who felt safe and comfortable enough to work with me and my team, or through the referrals from previous clients, 2013 exploded. Whether selling a hard fought listing, or even selling properties that weren’t even on the market, 2013 was a record breaking year in more than just sales. It was a year to remember in terms of how many smiles and happy clients there were.
Because of the faith my Selling clients put in me, I am proud to announce that I am now firmly entrenched in the West End Halifax market. The expertise I have managed to develop, and the reputation I have garnered from the results I have delivered my awesome clients, I am confident that my business in this amazing part of HRM will continue to grow. Again, all because of the many clients who placed their faith in me.
What’s more, I have also been fortunate enough to become a top producer within my Brokerage - EXIT Realty Professionals. This amazing team of agents has not only been supportive, but they have become some of my biggest fans. Without their contribution to my personal development, I’m not sure where I would be today. The ongoing support of my managing Broker, Scott Grace, and the Broker/Owners, Sue and David Grace, has been paramount to my growth and continued success.
The related industry professionals- Lawyers, Home Inspectors, Mortgage Brokers - have been immensely helpful in making it all happen. Special shout out to Byron Balcom from Atlantica Law Group, Ethan Kim from Bland and Associates, Zdenko Juric from a Buyer’s Choice Home Inspection, Chuck and Eddy Crocker from CEC Home Inspections, Daryl Woodill with The Mortgage Group, Kathleen Soares from the Mortgage Centre, Kris Bollivar with RBC, Nancy Althouse with RBC, Jeff Barrett with Desjardins and more!
A special shout out to my amazing clients who made this year possible, whether there was a transaction or not: Glenn, Sherry, Dennis, Alberta, Bruno, Maryse, Trevor, Nicole, Alex, Kieu, Alfie, Melissa, Kim, Sandra, Doyle, Jacklyn, George, Bill, Michelle, John, Derek, Dean, Paula, Justin, Amy, Emily, Holly, Jon, Tracy, Glenn, Brandon, Lee, Trevor, Charleen, Tressa, Paul, Joe, Lisette, Steve, Warren, Emma, Beth, Brian, Vince, Nicole, Steve, Nicole, Shanice, Ryan, Allison, Murray, Sandy, and a anyone else I have regrettably forgotten - you all made this year happen!
Finally, a special thanks to my website development team, Torusoft. The hard work of Chris, Ari and Jobelle has been not only professional, but superbly friendly and efficient. I started out this business working with them and they have been nothing but a treat. Thanks Guys. You’re the best!
So, let’s celebrate the end of an amazing business year. Let’s raise our glasses to history and to the future. And let’s make 2014 that much better.
From the bottom of my heart - THANK YOU!
When people renovate or remodel a room, they almost always overlook the door. However, changing the style of an interior door, or adding a new one, can dramatically change the look of a living space – often for the better.
The most common type of door is the traditional solid 6-panel door. But there are many other choices available. Want to add light and a greater sense of space to a room? Consider a door with glass panels. Do you have an interior door that gets in the way when opened? Change it to a bi-fold door, which cuts the distance of the swing in half.
There are also specialty doors that are designed to block noise, and sliding doors that tuck neatly into the wall when opened. Interior doors are typically much less expensive than their exterior counterparts. So making the decision to upgrade or add a door to a room is an affordable design option.
Visit a door showroom and explore what’s available.
The Bank of Canada kept its benchmark interest rate at one per cent on Wednesday.
In the midst of the holiday spirit, people are getting into the festive spirit by participating in and preparing for their favourite time-honoured traditions. For some, it’s gathering as a family to decorate the tree, or making those traditional family recipes, or even enjoying a holiday movie.
A timeless classic and annual favourite is the movie, It’s a wonderful life. There is a beautiful, touching scene where new homeowners, the Martini family, enter their home for the first time and main characters, George and Mary Bailey, offer them bread, salt and wine. Mary enthusiastically declares: “Bread! That this house may never know hunger. Salt! That life may always have flavor. And wine! That joy and prosperity may reign forever. Enter the Martini castle!”
It’s such a wonderful tradition and there is such an obvious pride of ownership that you have to smile as you watch this family take possession of their ‘castle’ for the very first time. But, there are a wide variety of interesting customs and traditions, similar to the ones in that special scene, that people have followed all over the world to sell homes and provide good fortune to a new homeowner.
A popular old Irish tradition was to give new homeowners a piece of coal, a sixpence and a piece of bread symbolizing that those living in the home will always be warm, never go poor, or be hungry. In Philippine culture, they believe taking rice and salt to a new home brings wealth and good fortune. For many, the broom is a traditional housewarming gift that sweeps away evil and, on the more practical side, keeps the home clean.
One of the most common traditions adopted by homeowners all across the globe is the burying of St. Joseph. St. Joseph is the patron saint of home and family in the Roman Catholic tradition, and has more recently become known as the patron saint of real estate. If you are trying to sell your house, a centuries-old tradition holds that burying a small statue of St. Joseph upside down in the front yard will result in a faster sale.
Numbers have always had significant meaning in many different cultures. Much like the superstitions surrounding the number 13, the number four is considered to be a bad omen in China, Japan, and Korea because it is associated with death. Alternatively, the number eight is considered to be lucky because it is associated with prosperity. Could these numbers affect the sale of your home? Some studies have shown that houses with house numbers that ended in four on average sold for less than those ending in eight. Fortunately, most people care more about how well the house suits their needs and don’t pay much attention to what numbers are associated with it!
At the end of the day, the factors that are more likely to result in a successful purchase or sale of a home are being well represented by a REALTOR®, pricing your home appropriately, and being prepared – but a little tradition is harmless and fun. In terms of new home gift giving, it can also be thoughtful. What traditions or superstitions have you heard of when buying or selling a home?
The Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® represents more than 1,800 brokers, salespeople and affiliate members throughout the province. NSAR serves its members through a wide variety of educational programs, publications and special services. REALTOR® is a trademark, which identifies real estate professionals who are members of The Canadian Real Estate Association and, as such, subscribe to a high standard of professional service and a strict code of ethics.